Champion Plugs Web Printing With Targeted Mailing

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Champion International Corp. Stamford, CT, recently kicked off the second phase of a direct mail push to promote its coated paper for web printing, and the forest products giant plans to continue the push in the fall.

Historically, the company's Champion Web line of paper is well known among catalogers and publishers, but Champion hopes the mail push will entice commercial printers such as makers of brochures and annual reports.

"We're web-only paper, so it's a very focused subset of the printing industry," said Champion Director of Creative Services Pam Miller. "It's very targeted. It's a different approach than most paper companies, which typically do mass everything."

The poster mail piece began going to 4,000 designers, paper specifiers, print sales reps and print-production managers in June. A similar mailing of about the same size is slated for delivery to the same people later this year. The first round of the campaign -- a 22-inch by 36-inch poster in a bright silver tube -- hit distributors and potential customers in March.

Unlike sheet fed paper, whose pieces load individually into printers for lower volume runs, web paper comes in a big roll and is used for large-volume print jobs such as catalogs or magazines. One of the key goals of the campaign is to reverse a perception in the industry that web printing can't produce work of as high a quality as sheet fed paper can.

Champion's evidence? The poster itself. The first piece was printed by George Rice & Sons, Los Angeles, and the back of the poster gives the specifics of the print process, including everything from the number of colors to the model of printer used. Interested recipients are encouraged to call a toll-free number for more information or go to Champion's Web site at

The front of the poster sports the side view of a giant roll of bright white paper, and colored stripes that represent Champion's line of sheet fed products. The company is a leader in the market for colored, textured papers, and it hopes to use printers' familiarity with those products to help prod them toward the web paper.

Miller would not disclose the budget for the campaign. Design firm Jager Di Paola Kemp created the poster.

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